Lesbians faced appalling official discrimination in the US in the 1950s. LGBT historian Lillian Faderman tells Rita Mcloughlin that although conditions have changed dramatically we still need to fight for more.
What was it like coming out as a working class lesbian in the 1950s?
The 1950s were probably the worst time ever to be a lesbian in the US. I look at what the Western world is like now for lesbians and it's a different universe. Of course I recognise that young lesbians might have trouble with their families and still feel that there are certain jobs where they can't be out, but they have no conception of the constant fear lesbians lived in then.